Two join Hudson Community Foundation board of directors

Kent Weeklies
Brad Wright
Jan Gusich

The Hudson Community Foundation has elected two new members to its board of directors as three long-time board members completed their board service terms.

Joining the 15-member volunteer board are Hudson residents Jan Gusich, founder and senior strategist at Akhia Communications, and Brad Wright, who leads the litigation practice groups of the Roetzel law firm.

Completing their board service are Drew Forhan, founder, president and CEO of ForTech Medical, Inc.; Don Tharp, president of Hudson Financial Advisors, Inc.; and Kevin Vaillancourt, director and retirement plan advisor at Ancora.

“We are so fortunate to welcome Jan and Brad to the board. They are passionate about the well-being of Hudson and provide us continuing insights into further developing the philanthropic spirit in our community at a challenging time with new and urgent needs emerging. Both have been involved with HCF in various ways over the years, and we are excited to have them as part of our board going forward,” said HCF Board Chair Bill Sedlacek.

“At the same time, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Drew, Don and Kevin for their service over the years,” Sedlacek said. “Drew and Don are both former HCF board chairs, each with more than 15 total years on the board. They have made indelible impressions on our community and taken HCF from a fledging concept to a robust community partner that today is a locally-focused funder, facilitator, philanthropic resource and convener around community issues. Kevin has devoted five years to our board and been an active chair of the development committee. All three will be very much missed at the board level but we look forward to them continuing as friends of our foundation.”

Gusich, a former HCF board member, founded Hudson-based Akhia Communications in 1996. Now retired, she grew the firm two employees to a 55-person agency serving the strategic communications and marketing needs of global clients. Gusich is an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional and served 11 years as chair of the Accreditation Committee for the Cleveland and Akron chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. Professionally, Jan also serves on the board for the International Public Relations Network (IPRN), the largest network of independent PR firms, representing nearly 50 countries worldwide. A strong believer in giving back, Gusich has served on multiple non-profit boards over the past 20 years. She currently sits on the board of directors for North Coast Community Homes providing homes to person with development disabilities and Milestones Autism Resources, which supports families with autistic children. Gusich is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College. She lives in Hudson with her husband, Tony. They have two adult sons and two grandchildren.

Wright is the Shareholder in charge of Roetzel's litigation practice groups. He has led the firm's Transportation Law Group, a team of attorneys whose legal skills and client service have led to the firm’s recognition as a National Tier “Best Law Firm” in Transportation Law by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Over 30 years, Brad’s experience includes jury trials, mediations, and arbitrations in federal, state, and local courts, where he represents his nationwide client base in semi-tractor trailer and motor vehicle litigation. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2008 and as Lawyer of the Year in transportation law. In addition to his work for

transportation clients, he is a nationally recognized retail litigator. He serves as national coordinating counsel and relationship counsel for multiple retail entities and as their "go to" emergency response attorney in a regional and local capacity. Wright is a strong believer in giving back and currently is a member of the Chairman’s Circle for Greater Akron Chamber, sits on the Board of Directors for Akron Civic and an Executive Committee member of United Way of Summit County. Wright is a graduate of Miami University with a law degree from The Ohio State University. He and his wife, Alisa, are long-time Hudson resident and have three children.

“Through the course of our 21-year history, we have been guided by a group of exceptionally talented and committed Hudson citizens who have served on our board of directors,” said HCF President Amy Jordan. “Through their dedication, the Hudson Community Foundation has help maintain a high quality of life in our community while also becoming a trusted philanthropic partner to many Hudson families, organizations and businesses.”

Founded in 2000, Hudson Community Foundation’s mission is to enhance the overall quality of life in Hudson by increasing charitable giving, educating and connecting donors to community needs and leading on community issues. Supported by hundreds of local donors and Donor Advised Funds, we ended 2020 with assets of more than $24 million. The foundation operates from an office in the historic Baldwin House on Hudson’s village green and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.